For the past few weeks, I have had a song in my head—one of the first “Christian” songs I used to jam out to as a child. The song that kept replaying was “Old Man’s Rubble,” sang by Amy Grant. It is a song older than me, a song that appeared on Amy’s first album. The chorus asks if you are living in an “old man’s rubble.” After a few weeks, I wondered why it was still stuck in my head.
When I was young, I used to sing the song with great passion, focusing on the lyrics about “listening to the father of lies.” I knew back then that he was and is the father of lies; however, today I can grasp things more clearly. Today I can easily understand that the song isn’t about the father of lies or the old man’s rubble, but rather, about the new creation that results from knowing the Father of light, about rejoicing in Him who is making all things new.
As we begin a new year, we need not focus on the old man’s rubble. Rubble is something that is left behind. It is defined as waste or wreckage. It is what is left behind after a collapse. Rubble remains. It is the ruins. It’s debris. We walk through the rubble to something better, something greater than that which we leave behind. The song says we will be “living in a mighty fortress” and we will be “clothed in power and might.” Embrace these lyrics. Trust that the old man you once were is rubble, and do not try to carry it with you into what God has for you next. Ready yourself.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 [ESV]
We talk often about God being faithful but what about us? How can we be faithful to God? I know that God has always been and will always be faithful. I also know that I have not always been faithful. I fail Him daily.
Stop Hesitating. Move forward to what God has promised. Don’t stand on the verge. Embrace God’s plan for you. James 1:6 speaks about those who are double-minded, who are “like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” (NIV).
Start Acting. Bury yourself in the Word. Read it. Study it. Study it alone and join a group. Remember the Armor of God? The Word is the only offensive weapon. Take an offense. Pray. Pray continually. Helplessly. Shamelessly. Listen intentionally.
Stand Firm. It is easier to fight than to stand. Remember, “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm” (Ephesians 6:13 NLT).
While I was taking a nature walk with my dog this morning, it was interesting to watch the interaction of God’s creation. I watched the squirrels climbing trees. I saw the ground hog scurry away fast to hide in his hole. I also saw some geese and ducks have a moment.
Geese are larger birds who always appear to be very territorial, whereas I do not necessarily recall seeing ducks get into any conflicts. This morning I watched as the ducks were swimming on by past the geese. The ducks looked very confident as they approached the geese. There was this “show no fear” attitude evident. Then as the duck was right beside one of the geese, his head turned away and he immediately changed direction.
This moment reminded me of how we are with our own fears in life. We say we have faith. We say we know everything is going to be okay. We say a lot of things. But when we are beside one of the geese, do we turn our head away or do we press forward? Do we follow God or do we run and hide?
Not all of us will be like David as he grabbed his slingshot and approached Goliath. Not all of us will attempt to walk on water like Peter. Some of us can barely find peace in the simple things in life to even take notice to the bigger opportunities God is presenting to us. We do not like to admit we find comfort in other areas. We do not want others to see that we are weak.
The truth is that every being is weak, dependent upon our Creator and Sustainer. We cannot face anything alone and when we attempt to do so there will be fears and also failures. There is no way for anyone to find true happiness in the world without the help of God. We find comfort in having a savings account for rainy days, but that money is God’s and can be gone in a flash. We find comfort in our homes, our clothing, our family, our friends, in food, in pleasure– but we can lose any of these items just like Job. All these items are temporary.
Fear and worry are not from God. The only way to defeat fear and worry is to understand that our God is bigger. God can handle anything. If we give our fears to God and swim forward in the direction He guides us, we will be fine. There will be moments we will want to turn our head and swim in the other direction, but understand that God wants to see His plan accomplished. He is right by your side. Keep swimming. Keep pressing forward. Keep the faith. God has never left — not once!
When I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?
-Psalm 56:3-4 [NIV]